Richard Davalos

Active - 1955 - 2007  |   Born - Nov 5, 1935 in New York City, New York  |   Died - Mar 8, 2016   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Adventure, Horror, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American actor Richard Davalos might have been a star had it not been for the formidable competition in his star-making movie. Davalos was cast as Aron the upright, dutiful son of Raymond Massey in the expensive 1955 filmization of East of Eden. The film, however, belonged to the boy playing Cal, Aron's supposedly ne'er-do-well younger brother: James Dean. One recent magazine article figuratively robbed Davalos of the best scene in the movie, wherein, after learning that his mother was a prostitute, he taunts his erring father by laughingly smashing his head through a glass window; the magazine attributed this unforgettable moment to James Dean! It's too bad, since Davalos was actually a lot more versatile than Dean (if not as charismatic), having proven this in a multitude of TV guest roles. As for movies, except for the meaty role of Blind Dick in Cool Hand Luke (1967), the best Davalos could do after Eden were such negligible starring stints as Pit Stop (1969) and indifferent character roles in films like Kelly's Heroes (1971). In 1961, Richard Davalos co-starred with Darryl Hickman on the short-lived television Civil War series The Americans. His last film was 2008's Ninja Cheerleader. Davalos died in 2016, at age 85.

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